Internally displaced persons (IDPs) fleeing from Zai Awng IDP camp at China-Burma border have to flee to a new safe location on 7 January after the Burma Army attacked the area with air strikes and artillery bombardments, according to the IDPs.
After seizing Kachin Independence Army (KIA)’s Lai Hpawng outpost, the Burma Army frequently attacked the area near Zai Awng IDP camp with air strikes and artillery shelling until 8 January.
“The skirmishes near Zai Awng are not stopping. [The Burma Army] attacked with air strikes and artillery gunfire. Currently, the IDPs are staying in an area four or five miles from Zai Awng camp. We don’t know what will happen now. We are currently staying at the border. We haven’t named it yet. Nobody has lived there before. Everyone has not arrived yet. Only some people have arrived,” said Sayar U Tuu San Aung, an IDP from Zai Awng IDP camp.
The Burma Army and the KIA fought nearly the whole day on 8 January and the Burma Army attacked the KIA with artillery and air attacks, according to the IDPs.
Zai Awng IDP camp has over 2,600 people from over 600 households.
After shells fell near Zai Awng IDP camp, some IDPs fled to Hkau Shau IDP camp while some IDPs are living along Waingmaw Road at China-Burma border.
Zai Awng IDP camp’s secretary told Network Media Group that over 400 IDPs have arrived at the new relocated area.
“We moved her after shells fell in our area. Currently, we are setting up the camp with tarpaulins. We are moving the people living on the road to here. Out of over 2,000 people from over 600 households in Zai Awng IDP camp, over 400 people have arrived here. Many people have moved here. Some IDPs are in Hkau Shau [IDP camp] and some are still on the road. It’s not easy to relocate from the area where we have been living for five years,” he said.
The IDPs fled from Zai Awng IDP Camp on 27 December due to fighting between the Burma Army and the KIA. They were fleeing along China-Burma border and Waingmaw Road when the Burma Army attacked with air strikes and artillery shelling on 7 December.
The Kachin Baptist Church (KBC) has provided aids for the IDPs and the IDPs are currently in need of medicine, according to Zai Awng IDP camp’s secretary.
“We are currently eating the rice we have brought along and the rice provided by the KBC. We will need [more] rice later. We need medicine at the moment,” he added.
Myawady, a state-owned media, reported on its Facebook page that the Burma Army seized smaller outposts near KIA’s Lai Hpawng outpost on 8 January.
According to Myawady, the Burma Army used air support, cannons, and artillery power in seizing the smaller outposts.
The Burma Army seized KIA’s Lai Hpawng outpost and six nearby smaller outposts in Waingmaw Township on 27 December.
Translated by Thida Linn